We’ve seen all the Christmas movies, haven’t we? It can be fun to watch them again, but some years it’s monotonous to pull out the same old flicks. One idea is to give them a break for a year, or maybe two, so by the third year they pick up a little of their “newness” again. In the mean time, what to watch? Christmas just can’t go by without movies, but wading through all the overly mushy, sappy films can be a drag. Here are some great ones pulled from the archives that are guaranteed to give you a great movie night, from the days when they still called them “pictures.”
– Holiday Affair (1949, Directed by Don Hartman)
Rugged and handsome Robert Mitchum is never more appealing than in this classic romance with a touch of lightheartedness. Connie Ennis (Janet Leigh, from Hitchcock thriller “Psycho”) is a bad commercial toy spy whose flimsy cover is easily blown by sales clerk Steve Mason (Robert Mitchum.) Single mom Ennis is already attached to her admittedly likable beau Carl (Wendell Corey), whose intentions to parent her son are nothing but noble, but is the relationship strong enough to stand against the alluring charms of a certain out-of-work department store employee?
– The Bishop’s Wife (1947, Directed by Henry Koster)
This delightfully funny tale of divine intervention is one of Cary Grant’s most unusual and pleasant roles. Angel Dudley (Grant) is on a mission from God to assist Henry Brougham (David Niven), and assist him he does, but like most heavenly aid, not in the way Henry expects. Lovely Mrs. Julia Brougham (Loretta Young) is also helped by the angel, gaining hope and zeal for life again while her husband comes to realize what he’s taken for granted.
– The Great Rupert, A Christmas Wish (1950, Directed by Irving Pichell)
In another Christmas movie of providential aid, down-on-his-luck Louie Amendola (Jimmy Durante) gains his heavenly assistance in a more atypical form – a squirrel. Just when it seems that Christmas for Amendola’s family will be more meager that any seen by Bob Cratchit, the furry angel sends down bounty from on high, or at least from as high as the attic rafters. The sudden turn of luck for the family raises eyebrows from amongst more than just the neighbors. Governing authorities are also interested in knowing why Durante very recently becomes one of the richest men in town.
– Christmas in Connecticut (1945, Directed by Peter Godfrey)
This comical, tangled, romantic web is a must-see, if for nothing other than to hear Sydney Greenstreet’s terrific laugh.
Elizabeth Lane (Barbara Stanwyk) has a problem. Her popularity as a columnist has soared beyond her imaginings, and now she can buy that fur coat she’s always wanted. She owes her success to her column, the one depicting her peaceful lifestyle on her Connecticut farm, that is, her lifestyle and her husband’s and her baby’s and her famous meals‘. So what‘s the problem? It doesn’t sound like she has one, until you learn the only hearth she has is a radiator. Her fame is built on the rickety beams of a lie, and her boss Mr. Yardley (Sydney Greenstreet) is too close to discovering his column is a fib. Liz nearly enters a loveless marriage to escape her problem, until she meets the yummy soldier (Dennis Morgan) responsible for all the trouble.